Canada Drops NETFILE Access Code Requirement

Canada Drops NETFILE Access Code Requirement

Before 2013, a four-digit personal NETFILE access code was required in order to use NETFILE to file a Canadian personal income tax return online. The NETFILE access code is no longer required. The only personal identification needed is a social insurance number and date of birth.


NETFILE is an electronic tax-filing service that allows a Canadian taxpayer to send an individual income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the internet and a NETFILE-certified software program. It streamlines the tax filing process. NETFILE is considered secure, confidential, faster and more accurate than submitting a paper form in the mail.

NETFILE Access Code

In the past, a Canadian taxpayer would need an access code sent in the mail in order to file tax returns using NETFILE. By getting rid of the access code requirement, the CRA suggests NETFILE is easier to use and encourages taxpayers to use NETFILE. To get started, a taxpayer should visit the CRA website, enter personal identifying information and receive access.

Safety Measures

The Canada Revenue Agency says that dropping the access code requirement does not lower their security standards in any way. The CRA explains how it now protects the security of taxpayer personal information when Canadian income taxes are filed online.

According to the CRA, the agency uses the most secure forms of data encryption available today, the same levels of data encryption that financial institutions use to protect banking information.

NETFILE is a one-way, one-time transaction of information. There is no way to change any of the information or go back and view it after it has been transmitted. In fact, if an individual needs to change any personal information on the income tax return, it would need to be updated with the CRA before using NETFILE, as there is no way to change personal information in NETFILE while in the program.

There is no danger of an individual being able to access another person's tax return and claim the refund. Nor is there the possibility of an individual being able to NETFILE a second T1 tax return under another person's name.